Many Americans are still sailing a board Russian cruise ships, despite the U.S. ban on Soviet vessels, according to reports from several U.S. tour operators. According to those interviewed, the cruises are attractive to Americans because “they offer something different,” and “the price is right.”
A similar response was given by the Miami Reuters Bureau: “Our problem lies in getting hard facts and figures. No firm industry-wide figures exist, so that even if we were to obtain anything from a cruise line, we have no framework against which to compare. We do not have an impression of the profits and costs involved in cruise line operation, and there exists no information source for the industry in general.”
“We know very little about them,” says a business editor at the Miami Herald. “They are foreign owned, and since they are not publicly held corporate entities, they are not required to release financial information to the public,” he added, mentioning that since the cruise lines are such a major factor in Florida’s economy, they could keep the press better informed.
“The cruise lines have done little of interest to write about from a business point of view, and being privately owned, they are not often covered by the business media,” commented another Wall Street Journal editor, who feels that the public in general perceive the cruise industry as being very profitable and experiencing a boom this year.
At Business Week, and other business publications, similar sentiments were expressed.
Without exception, however, editors expressed the desire to become more familiar with the industry for news coverage purposes.